Although Brees



Although Brees

Postby hongwei28 » 13 Aug 2018, 06:21

MILWAUKEE — Thanks to the Detroit Pistons’ loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night Cheap Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey , the Milwaukee Bucks will take to the court Thursday against Brooklyn assured of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Where the Bucks will be seeded and ultimately who they’ll face when the postseason begins remains to be season, leaving plenty to play for over the final four games of the regular season.

Those four games also give forward Jabari Parker chances to build up his strength as he continues his return from ACL surgery in February.

Coach Joe Prunty has been using a gradual approach with Parker, who’s averaging 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 27 games since making his season debut Feb. 2.

“We want fast food faster,” Prunty said. “Everybody wants it now. What he’s done in a very short amount of time is not easy. So his progression of minutes, he’s earned what he’s getting. We need him to be good. He’s a huge part of what we’re doing … and going forward he’s going to be a big part of that success.”

Parker scored 35 points on 14-of-23 shooting with 10 rebounds in the Bucks’ disappointing overtime loss last weekend at Denver and finished with 12 Tuesday night in Milwaukee’s victory over Boston, with seven of those coming during a 16-4 second-quarter run.

He’s admitted that coming off the bench to play often inconsistent minutes has been frustrating at times, but is happy just to be back on the floor and contributing after tearing the same ACL twice in the last three seasons.

“I’m just in that rhythm,” Parker said. “Right now, coming off the bench playing the last of the first quarter and then the beginning of the second, that’s my rhythm right now. I don’t have any negativity toward that as long as I play. That’s all I care about.”

Brooklyn will be watching the playoffs on television, playing out the string with little more than combinations of ping pong balls in its future.

The Nets bring a two-game losing streak to Milwaukee James Washington Steelers Jersey , falling to Detroit and Philadelphia, respectively, their last two times out and have dropped 12 of their last 17 overall.

They were dominated in all aspects of the game against the 76ers but were especially bad on the glass, getting outrebounded 56-36 by a Philadelphia squad playing without center Joel Embiid.

“When you don’t have physical engagement, or mental engagement, it just becomes a layupathon,” Atkinson said. “They just kept on laying it up on us and that’s just the reality of what it was.”

Jahlil Okafor hit 7 of 9 shots to finish with 15 points and added five rebounds in the 121-95 loss despite playing with a turned ankle.

He’s expected to be available Thursday night and is hoping the Nets can find a way to close out a disappointing season on a high note.

“The next four games, my teammates and I want to finish off on the right foot so that we can have a good offseason,” Okafor said.

Nikola Jokic and Will Barton grew up worlds apart.

Their paths, though, followed a similar route to a big payday with the Denver Nuggets. Jokic signed a max contract worth around $147 million for five seasons Dante Pettis Jersey , and Barton returned on a four-year deal that could earn him more than $50 million.

As bench players a few years ago, Barton made a comment that stuck with his center.

”He called us Kobe and Shaq,” Jokic recounted Monday at a news conference for the pair. ”We kind of grew together.”

Bonded by similar roads.

From Serbia, Jokic was a second-round pick by Denver in 2014 (41st overall) – a 6-foot-10 project who needed to lose about 30 pounds. He did and has blossomed into one of the top big men in the league.

From Baltimore, Barton was a second-round pick by Portland in 2012 (40th overall) – a sharp-shooter buried on the Blazers’ bench and just needing a chance. He got one when Denver traded for him and became a versatile reserve player/occasional starter.

”I don’t think we are a team that can follow other archetypes in how teams are built,” Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly explained. ”We have to find and develop guys. We have to find and develop guys who want to be here long term.”

Jokic is an unassuming star in the making. His 10 triple-doubles last season were the most in a single season for a Nuggets player since Fat Lever in 1987-88. In addition, Jokic is the fifth player in NBA history with 3,000 or more points, 2,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in their first three seasons Braden Smith Jersey , joining names such as Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Maurice Stokes and Sidney Wicks.

”To see how quickly he’s made the jump and how comfortable he is producing against the elite of the league, it’s something I’ve never seen,” Connelly said. ”He’s one of the best players in the NBA.”

The spotlight really isn’t his thing. He’d much rather be back home in Serbia this time of year, where his routine goes something like this: Work out, lunch, go to the stables to check on his two horses and then work out some more. He doesn’t like the attention.

”He’s got this huge contract and life-changing money and everything, but he’s going to still be with his horses, still wear sweat pants, even though we tell him to wear a button-up shirt A.J. Green Jersey ,” cracked his brother, Nemanja. ”He feels comfortable. I don’t think anything is going to change about it.”

It won’t. Connelly and Barton were recently talking about that very subject.

”I’ve never seen a guy less enthused about a contract this big – and I say that in a positive sense,” Connelly said.

Jokic even said as much with Josh Kroenke, the vice chairman of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, flanked to his right.

”When I was younger, my dream was not to sign a big contract. My dream was to have fun and win big games, some championships,” Jokic said. ”Winning is the most important thing.”

The Nuggets are coming off a season in which they won 46 games, but the season came down to a winner-take-all scenario in Minnesota, where the Nuggets came up short in overtime to miss out on the playoffs. Jokic is trying to help the Nuggets reach the postseason for the first time since 2012-13 – an even more difficult task with LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

”We’re not too worried about what anybody else is doing,” Kroenke said. ”We’re worried about what we’re doing and our process of winning. We started to hit on a few of those things last couple of years. A very underrated aspect of sports is continuity. These guys having played for several years now Marcedes Lewis Jersey , that’s only going to benefit us.”

Especially the bond between Jokic and Barton, who was acquired in a trade with Portland on Feb. 19, 2015. Barton averaged 15.7 points, five rebounds and 4.1 assists as he alternated between coming off the bench and being a starter.

A big reason he elected to stay in Denver was coach Michael Malone not trying to rein him in.

”Coach Malone lets me be me as a player,” Barton said. ”The style of play I have, a lot of coaches are scared of that, and they won’t let me be me. Coach Malone never boxed me in.

”I knew this is where I wanted to be.”



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